Centering Youth Voice in Data and Evaluation

Gain Deeper Insights and Amplify Impact with Our Young Leaders

BUILD is an entrepreneurship program for underserved high school students that teaches them how to build their own businesses, career success, and entrepreneurial mindsets while becoming the CEO of their own lives. As an extension to BUILD’s entrepreneurial programs, they run two youth fellowship programs: the Youth Advisory Panel (YAP) and the Youth Design Fellowship (YDF).

These programs bring entrepreneurial thinking to life as youth are able to cultivate leadership skills, critical thinking habits and, ultimately, explore pathways in new careers that may lead to increased social and economic mobility. Youth become co-designers, strategists and thought partners as they propose new ideas for strategy development, program design, and education reform efforts with BUILD industry partners, like the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.


After early signs of success with the programs, BUILD wanted to operationalize the programs in a way that would help them:

  • Understand the impact of YAP and YDF, and how the programs supported BUILD’s overall community impact.
  • Prepare to scale the programs by establishing a framework for their internal team to follow as well as other practitioners in the youth development space.


They began looking for a data and evaluation partner that could support the organization make progress toward these goals. BUILD needed a partner that not only had expertise in program monitoring and evaluation, but also experience elevating community voice throughout the data process, which led BUILD to ResultsLab.

The Approach: Building a Strategic and Youth-Centered Data Practice

Together, we partnered to:

  • Design BUILD’s Youth Fellowship Program Impact Framework, allowing BUILD to connect data from YAP and YDF back to the organization’s broader evaluation framework.
  • Develop a learning agenda, helping BUILD use data to answer key questions around: the competencies participants were building, the economic mobility participants were achieving, and the mindset shifts after engaging with the program.
  • Establish a data plan, providing BUILD with a structured approach to collect, analyze, and use data that was in line with its youth-centered values, and support the scaling of operations consistently and effectively.
  • Refine and standardize data tools, supporting the collection, analysis, and communication of the Youth Fellowship Program data practice. BUILD and ResultsLab brought in student voices to review these tools, ensuring that the development of the tools was participant-centered. ResultsLab also worked together with BUILD staff to clarify the collection and analysis processes so BUILD had the confidence to implement them on their own.


The Results

BUILD’s innovative approach through programs like the Youth Advisory Panel (YAP) and the Youth Design Fellowship (YDF) underscores its commitment to elevating and activating youth voices and strengthening its data practice. Through our collaborative partnership, BUILD is better equipped to:

  • Tell the Youth Fellowship Program impact story with richer youth stories and facilitators’ insights through stronger data collection tools that get at the heart of BUILD’s Learning Agenda.
  • Engage staff with data in a variety of ways throughout the Youth Fellowship Program experience through data use training and upskilling with ResultsLab.
  • Deepen learning and codify the process through consistent data practices, youth-driven reflection structures, and a clear framework of outcomes for both youth and partners.
  • Model youth voice and engagement through the data tools we’ve developed and how the team communicates the data insights.

“Our partnership with ResultsLab has been instrumental in operationalizing a strategic and youth-centered data and evaluation practice within our youth fellowship programs. Their expertise and collaboration have not only enriched our impact story but equipped us to engage staff effectively and ensure our commitment to youth engagement is reflected throughout the process.”

– Lydia Phillip, Strategic Advisor and Project Lead at BUILD